Degree Programs Language Courses

TOEFL/IELTS

Information about TOEFL and IELTS

If you decide to study abroad, and if the language used at your exchange university is English, then there is a good chance that you will have to take either the TOEFL or IELTS to prove that your English is good enough.  Please contact your chosen university to find out if they require an English test and the pass score they request.

It may be that your exchange university suggests or requests that you send a letter from an English language lecturer to attest to your English proficiency.  Please note: Lecturers at Academic English Services can only provide such a letter for students who have successfully completed one of the courses that they have taught.

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language, and is a US-based test designed to measure people's skill in reading, listening, speaking and writing English in university situations. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and is the British counterpart of the TOEFL. Most North American universities require foreign students to take the TOEFL when they apply for admission, but now over 1,000 US universities and professional bodies accept IELTS scores as well. Universities in other countries may also require you to take one of the two tests.

What score do I need?

The IELTS and TOEFL are not tests that you can pass or fail; they are instruments that measure your skill in English and give you a score that represents a level of competence. The university to which you want to apply will probably require you to achieve a minimum score on the test. The level required depends on the field of study. An IELTS score of 6.5 (or TOEFL 92) may be good enough for a student in the natural sciences, but a law student will probably be required to get a higher score. Only the university you want to apply to can tell you what score is required.

TOEFL exam preparation at the University of Bern

Academic English Services will be running a TOEFL Exam Preparation Course at level B2/C1 (KSL/CTS course number 429270) in the autumn/fall 2017 semester. The course will provide guidance and practice in all four academic English skills assessed by the TOEFL exam: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Please note that the University of Bern is not an official testing center. Registration for the oficial TOEFL examination is the responsibility of the individual and is not included as part of the course. To register for the TOEFL Exam Preparation Course, please read the information under How to register for an English course

How do I prepare for a TOEFL or IELTS test? 

If you are already taking an English course, you are preparing for the TOEFL or IELTS. Most of the English courses taught at Academic English Services are a good preparation for these tests. Other ways to prepare are to attend the University of Bern's TOEFL Exam Preparation Course in autumn 2017 or to take a look at the TOEFL practice website. The British Council in Bern offers an IELTS preparation course. 

When, where and how can I take the official TOEFL exam?

The official TOEFL exam is not given in Bern; however, you can take it in other Swiss cities (e.g. Geneva, Lausanne, St. Gallen and Zurich). You can register and check the test dates on the TOEFL website.

When, where and how can I take the IELTS?

The IELTS is given at the British Council offices in Bern. You can register and check the test dates by contacting the British Council.